HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! (That tells you how long it‟s been since I had the idea to put a newsletter together!!) The BTA spring dinner will be on June 18, 2009. It will move to the Lake Isle Country Club this year. Put it on your calendar!!!! Retirees will include Maryann Johnson, Dan Alexander, Ellen Carney and Maryann DeRuvo. ARE OUR PENSIONS SAFE??????? In this very difficult economic time, the last thing we want to hear is the stock market has lost 50%!!!! Be that as it may, we are being told with great confidence that our PENSIONS ARE SAFE! Because the pension funds are so well diversified, when one company or asset declines, the stability of the other assets offset the negative performance. That is pretty much verbatim from the NYSTRS newsletter. Aren‘t we some of the really fortunate ones!! From newly retired Jeff Schwartz: ―So I am sitting relaxing on the couch watching TV at 8:30 PM and the phone rings. It‘s a former colleague from B M S wanting to know if I am missing not being with them at Back to School night. I chuckled and blurted ―NO!‖ Jeff is working for Cornell University Cooperative Extension in Valhalla providing school enrichment programs for community centers or private and public schools. It is a part time job with a flexible schedule. ― I don‘t deal with TPZ Bridge during rush hour. I do not have to get up at 5:15 AM. This leaves me time to work in my garden, spend time with grandchildren, fish or ski. Diane and I have done some traveling. We visited Alaska this past summer. Life is good.‖ Jane Gallagher & Jim Long wrote about their busy life in FL. They belong to a golf club and have met people from all over the country, Canada and Australia. Jane is on the scholarship committee (and taking piano lessons) and Jim is chairman of the golf committee (that‘s a surprise!). Jane visits her kids: Christie in Cleveland (Shaker Heights) and Tom in Boston. We have a family Christmas in early December which is like a family reunion which we look forward to every year. The kids come down at other times as well. Jane has been going to Spain with her parents (her dad just turned 90) every other year in September. Barbara White‟s comment about the BTA Presidents‘ picture? ―At first glance, I thought this was a picture of "Motley's Crew" at their 25th Reunion!! Just kidding, Really! Barbara is still in touch with Barbara Mayers every week or so - she still sounds strong and as sharp as a tack!! Just received the final itinerary for my trip to South Africa - going with Don's sister and her orthopedic surgeon husband to an international conference on KNEES - his specialty. We have extended the 5 day conference into almost 3 weeks of travel to include Cape Town, Sabi Sabi, Kruger National Park and the Bush Reserve, Victoria Falls, Stellenbosch, and Pretoria. I am really excited and hope to document the trip and possibly produce a CD for educational use by my Boomerang Consulting LLC group.( Boomerang Consulting LLC is my consulting organization, focused on science education. I am on the Education Committee at SoundWaters and have been involved in establishing a performance process for evaluating the crew on the schooner. I hope to make a CD of the trip for educational purposes in both New York State and Connecticut. (ed. note: There was no charge for that commercial interruption!!) Linda Vernon: Spent time on Cape Cod at the O‟Gormans in the fall—― We call their Holly Point home the best B&B on the Cape.‖ She also gets to see Judy Underberg and Steve who live there fulltime.. From North Carolina, Linda Passman said,” I am painting, exhibiting my work and teaching a new color course this fall at the local Arts Center. Chapel Hill was an excellent choice for retirement. The life style, new friends, climate and Southern style in this university town are a perfect fit. I send my regards to colleagues and friends at Bronxville. Tony Manganiello checked in to let me know that ― in addition to cultivating some "choice" tomatoes: san marzano, pepper tomatoes (yes, they look like elongated red peppers!) and beef steaks (one weighed 2.75 pounds) grown from seeds from previous tomatoes, I am teaching 2 classes at Concordia College. I am conducting a PAPOTAGE (discussions) at the Alliance Francaise de Westchester, where I also serve on the board of directors. This past July, the White Plains Times captured me dancing with my former French teacher during the July 14 Bastille Day!!! In a couple of weeks I shall again be making wine. I opened up a bottle tonight to accompany a salmon dish which I cooked. It was delicious. I also sing at the Immaculate Conception Choir. Last night it was our first practice of the new season. I decided to walk! And, as I walk past the school, I saw so many cars! Ah, it was BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT!!!! Normally I would miss choir practice because of this. I must say, though, that a little butterfly feeling traversed my abdominal area!!!!!!!!!!! Judy O‟Gorman and John: spend their summers in Cape Cod. John brought all of our old water skis up this year and it was fun now to see the next generation of grandchildren using them on the lake. While having lunch at Larchmont Yacht Club recently with John, Gerry Block came in with a group of friends. She looks terrific! Judy took a river cruise on the Danube betw/ Oct. 22-Nov 5 and had very busy days in Prague and Budapest. Barbara DeFrondeville also had a comment about the Prez‘ photo: ―Thank God for Betsy, as some kind of proof that there are also female teachers at the school!” th Barbara still lives in Rye , with her husband, Bertrand. To celebrate her 70 last year, they went to Argentina and hiked 51 miles in 10 days in Patagonia, among peaks that required iron legs and lungs, and, on the last day, climbing on all fours. They finished the trip with the cooling waters of Iguazu Falls. Two years before that it was Morocco to visit the home in which Bertrand spent 7 of the first years of his life, as well as to do the traditional camel back ride into the Sahara , which included sleeping under a tent. They fly to France regularly, especially to visit Bertrand‘s nearly 98 year old mother, who is still living independently! ―Our 7 grandchildren are in San Francisco, Paris and Boston , and we are envious of everyone who writes about frequent visits with theirs, as other than the month of August here together, we don‘t see them much. I have tried volunteering here and there, but the activity I like most is keeping my hand in at what I did for 25 years…teaching French! I tried it through the Greenwich Alliance Francaise but gave that up to tutor whenever anyone calls and says ―help!‖ Janet Gould can't believe how busy she is with various activities: exercise, reading, social visits & movies, etc. ―I may even learn how to play mahjong and relearn bridge which I haven't played in several years. I begin tutoring next week as well. I haven't missed school a bit! Let's see if I can say that once winter sets in, however.‖ Ruby Lupton dropped us a line to express her appreciation for the newsletter and enjoys keeping up to date with her retired colleagues. Miriam Leo and Mike were in the Hampton's in July and had a fabulous time playing tennis, also went to Lake George and Vt. and played golf etc They will be going to Peru in May three days before their tour starts to visit Vilma‘s (friend/cleaning person) village in the Andes and stay with her parents and then go to Lima (where Vilma has an apartment). They took Spanish in preparation. Miriam is doing consulting in the elementary school again and the topic is Problem Solving, a topic in which she is really interested. Miriam reported that Delia Selby is doing well in her retirement and Patsy Zendel is the same as ever and she and Danny are celebrating a big anniversary in Italy this year. Mark Saul reflected on his years since Bville: ―I left Bronxville to work at the National Science Foundation for three years. I administered grants and learned an enormous amount about what education is like all over the country. Our view from Bronxville, or even in New York State, can be pretty narrow. We also bought an apartment in Washington, which we still keep. Politics is so intense that no one (!) talks about it. You know exactly how your neighbor votes, but the topic is just too sensitive. Then I ran a program for students in Shanghai, gave talks in Norway and England, and helped run a conference in Senegal. I‘m working mostly now for the John Templeton Foundation, which is large and new. They want to work with highly gifted students in math and science all over the world. So last summer I was at the Pan-African Mathematics Olympiad in Benin. I was also in Nigeria and Mali. I made it to Timbuktu—yes, there is such a place—to visit the medieval libraries, which hold historic science and math manuscripts that have not been catalogued. I translated a fascinating book on geometry by the French mathematician Jacques Hadamard. I am now struggling to finish a teacher‘s version, with solutions to the (very difficult) problems. I feel like it‘s a long, drawn-out final exam--which I'm taking, not giving. A misprint of a single character can queer a whole solution, and will certainly be noticed in the reviews. Our three children have left, and are doing well on their own around New York City.‖ New York Times –Letter to the Editor: Re ―McCain Draws Line on Attacks as Crowds Cry ‗Fight Back‘ ‖ (news article, Oct. 11): Oh what a tangled web did the McCain campaign weave this time. Backpedaling from his barrage of negativism, John McCain bristled when a less than scholarly woman proudly told the Republican candidate that she doesn‘t trust Barack Obama because he is an Arab. To assuage her concern, Mr. McCain told her, ―No, ma‘am, he‘s a decent family man, citizen, who I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues.‖ Won‘t that be music to the ears of all the Arab-American voters. John McCain thinks the two are mutually exclusive. Charles Yochim Yonkers, Oct. 12, 2008 A Nice Surprise: Out of the blue I received a note from Judy Oksner telling us that she has become a full-time painter since her retirement after‖…stints in Bulgaria, Azerbaijan and Siberia with my husband in govt a.i.d. programs for a couple of years.‖ Not only that!!! She is having an art exhibit this winter at Sarah Lawrence th College. ―I‘m hanging it Jan.12 and it will be up on display in the library gallery till May 15 . AND I‘m having an artist‘s reception on Sunday, March 22 from 2-4. I‘d LOVE to see any interested faculty and Bronxville denizens – ex and extant..‖ So there is your personal invitation to Judy‘s show. Good luck, Judy, and have fun and thanks for letting us know. Janice and I were scheduled to go to Turkey last Oct but canceled due to my low-blood-pressure fainting episode. As a result of the hospitalization (actually, I was on the ―observation floor –and while I stayed in the hospital building for 36 hours, I was officially not ―hospitalized!!! I don‘t get it either.), I wound up with several pages of bills from POMCO with lists of numbers, doctors names, and fees (no specific procedures). The Medicare lists had the procedure names so I could at least identify that I had experienced it. After trying to coordinate Medicare with Pomco (haven‘t we always been told to review bills to make sure the insurance company isn‘t getting overcharged??), I emailed Herb Friedman, Exec. Dir of SWSCHP about this problem. His response? “I agree, Joe. We have been working with POMCO to fix this situation. Happy, Healthy to all of you.” If you find yourself confounded as I did, please let Herb know and maybe Pomco will get the message. Janice and I finally managed to get away in Feb. We went to Southeast Asia for 5 weeks visiting Cambodia,) Siam Reap, Angkor Wat), Thailand (Bangkok & north) and Vietnam (along the coast from Hanoi to Saigon). We had a wonderful time meeting the people, learning about their history & culture and eating their foods. We are going to Morocco In Oct with a couple from the last trip and hopefully to Turkey next spring with a couple we met on our Peru trip. They just visited us here from Oregon. We do a great tour of our area for anyone interested in coming here. There‘s a lot to do and we have lots of room-just give us some notice so we‘ll be in town. Barby Peterson penned us a note saying that she continues to enjoy her retirement home and nearby children and families. She broke her hip last year but said that she has healed well and is walking normally again. Shame on the memories of all of us who were on staff around 1970. We tried to help out the BTA recall all previous BTA Presidents. I emailed all those who had email addresses and we did a pretty good job along with those who were still on staff. Lo and behold I get a Christmas card from Ian Thomson (who does not have email) who informed me right off the bat that he was BTA President in the early ‗70‘s when Ray Hettler was high school principal. (How many stories can you remember about…. Never mind!) My apologies to Ian for my poor memory. I was on staff. And I have informed David Katz, current BTA prez, and Maryellen Mullin, who assured me that Ian‘s name will be inscribed. SAD NEWS: Centenarian Axel Joel who retired in 1972 after about 35 years on staff at BHS passed away on Sept 9, 2008. Janice and I had the opportunity to visit Axel in June just before the BTA dinner. He had slowed down, for sure, but he was alert, engaging, humorous and living independently. Those of us who worked with th Axel, who first taught German and then became the 11-12 grade BOYS guidance counselor, will remember him warmly. Joe B replaced Axel and said, ―a man of great integrity and character, as well having a far reaching intelligence. A long life and I am sure it was filled with many good deeds.” From Joan Carey: I just received a call from Linda Passman. Her husband David passed away on January 9 of this year. MORE: Ed Bryant, long-time head of the custodial staff before Bob King, passed away recently. Ed was the original ―nice guy.‖ Even tempered, seemingly unruffled by the craziness that could unfold at Bville. Joan Boelson also died recently – nice lady who worked in the cafeteria for a number of years. Bits and Pieces From the BTA News: 1) SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE!!!!!!Conference Day, ―Nov. 10, we will continue the longtime tradition (only interrupted by the flood) of lunch by Chef Antonio (Tony Manganiello). Tony retired this past June and he is coming back to prepare a fabulous meal. Other staff members or retirees are providing bread, making dessert, and contributing paper goods. This is a joint effort - the District, Staff Development, BTA, and now retirees.‖ 2) SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE – IN FACT, MAY EVEN GET WORSE!!!!LIKE PARKING: “Please be considerate about the way you park. Every day there are staff members who have trouble finding spaces, and this is exacerbated by the way some staff members are parking. If you park on the street on Midland or Pondfield, please pull right up to the signs or to the car in front of you. If you park in the Midland Ave. lot, please park within the lines.‖ 3) Custodians ―Congratulations to our district custodians, who have taken the courageous and wise step of deciding to organize under the umbrella of the BTA. We will soon present the Board and the District with a letter requesting voluntary recognition of this new bargaining unit. Once the Board decides that they will recognize the unit, we will begin negotiating on behalf of the custodians, cleaners, maintenance staff, groundskeepers, couriers, and mechanics in our district.‖ 4) Retirement “TODAY is the deadline for submitting your retirement to be eligible for the $32,500 incentive. This incentive is only available for teachers who have been in the district for at least 12 years and are age-eligible to retire without penalty from NYSTRS. (The incentive ends this June)‖ 5) ―The governor‘s plan to create a Tier 5 would be a disaster for the teaching profession in N Y State. Under the plan, the retirement age would rise from 55 to 62 and new Tier 5 members would be required to contribute to the pension fund for their entire careers (not the 10 years that those of us on Tiers 3 & 4 contributed). For those of you with children even remotely considering the teaching profession – tell them this: Get into a school and substitute teach for 20 days so they will be in Tier 4 and be sure to join the Teachers Retirement System BEFORE they start. Call 800-348-7298.‖ Fred & Fran Freyer‟ youngest child got married on a snowy day in Brooklyn,NY‘s reconstructed Navy Yard in January. We stayed at John and Judy „O‟Gorman‟s house (after spending a night with Janie & Andy Cahn who are now socializing puppies who will become guide dogs for the blind). Judy and John also were ecstatic over the birth of their granddaughter to son, Chris, and wife. On the way to the wedding we picked up Judy Bryngelson th whom we had not seen in the 15 years she has been retired(5-6 grade teacher). (If we hadn‘t picked her up, she would have had to take 4 different subways plus a significant walk from the station to the Navy Yard!!) The wedding was a ball!!!! It was held at Stage 6 at the Steiner Studios.(check out the website).Judy Bryngelson dropped us a note afterwards to say that was the first time she had attended a wedding of a former student. ―It was great to talk with Chris after 30-some years, as well as to Nancy and Rick, who also were my students, and Fred, Fran and their big family. And with a light snowfall outside—it was a perfect evening. What more could a 5/12 Minnesotan-7/12 New Yorker ask for????‖ .VOTE-COPE: According to NYSUT‘s V-C Coordinator (our own Jeff Z), Bville retirees (WE) are third on the list of retiree locals!!! Nice goin‘, folks!!!! Cornelia Wathen: “had a wonderful year in our new home. We love living up here (Stone Ridge, NY), surrounded by fields, woods ands mountains. I had a garden built in March with 8 foot high fences around it to ward off the ever present deer, and raised beds because of the very stony terrain. I had a wonderful time raising organic vegetables and magnificent flowers. In May (2008), Andrea got married to Peter Brown. It was a small, beautiful, very personal wedding at a restaurant near us here. ..met at their office, for they both work for Pearson st Educational. They have since moved to Massachusetts, a 5 minute drive from Eloise‘s house.‖ Happy 1 Anniversary, Eloise and thanks, Cornelia, for the great pictures. And then, as spring approached Cornelia added: I am still enjoying life in the country. I look out my window on fields, woods and mountains. I am gearing up for my vegetable and flower garden, starting seeds under grow lights in my basement in preparation. Hugh and I will be going to Greece for three weeks in late April. My old kindergarten buddies and I had a reunion here in my house last Fall. Lucille Peterson and her husband came up for a visit last Fall also, and Linda Abbott and her husband joined us for dinner. I have just completed my new web site: www.corneliawathen.com. (check it out!!) I hope to use it to gain new clients up here, to add to the few I have so far. Life is good. Jeff Zuckerman is finishing up his first year of retirement and insists he is the happiest person in the Western Hemisphere… not having to "be" anywhere first thing in the morning is the best part. He is involved in a myriad of activities, one of which is being a VOTE-COPE Coordinator for NYSUT. which includes Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland and Orange Counties. He asks that any Bronxville retirees not yet contributing to VOTE- COPE via pension deduction please do so when you are solicited. And, oh yes, he and Clare are going to be GRANDPARENTS for the first time! Anne Hartmere: Plain and simple news from Anne Hartmere: ― was in Hawaii for labor day….retirement is heaven!!!!!!!!!!!!! all is well. LOVE being retired. am awaiting the birth of Maura's first baby due on April 8th ... spend a LOT of time in Pelham where Mike has 3 kids ( 5,3, 1) .... both Mike and Maura are lawyers so i have coast to coast lawyers and soon will have grandbabies from California to new York it is a good thing I am retired.‖ Joe Biscoglio and Fran tell us: Our daughter Regina had her second child, Julia Elena, who came into the world at a hefty 9lbs, 6oz on February 17th. Olivia seems to like her younger sister but time will tell. Young Julia is not quite 2 months old but her grandfather swears that she knows who he is and she smiles at him all the time. Her sister Olivia is teaching her grandfather more than he ever knew about the planets and space and she gets exasperated when he makes a mistake about which is the largest planet. John Moyle and Polly celebrated the marriage of their younger son, Robert, on Narragansett Bay, RI. as well as the birth of their first granddaughter, thanks to older son, John, and wife Jenna. They both continue their church ministries: singing and mission activities. John leads wildlife trips to VA, TN, SC, and NC and in ECUADOR. He is President of the Friends of the Nature Center in Trinidad which is a US fund raising group for the center. Amy Akaishi seems to be ready to pack at the drop of a hat. Last year, she spent time in Birmingham, AL with Carolyn‘s family of 7, then to Cancun with the Stannards, had knee surgery back in Birmingham performed by her son-in-law, then went to Japan for family visits and touring, then to granddaughter‘s wedding in August, Thanksgiving in Rhode Is. with Janet, California in October to visit with her 4 sibs, and interspersed with all that were tennis matches, quilt making, sewing, walking and volunteer work. Ron Schaeffner: Life after teaching is better than I imagined. Although missing colleagues, I find the absence of a prescribed schedule to be fantastic. I‘m planning a XC road trip to California. My daughter Kaitlin graduates from the U of Redlands in May so I decided to use my new found time to explore this vast land and camp along the way as well as visit friends. I will meet up with my older daughter in CA and visit the Grand Canyon and Zion NP on the way east. Planning a trip to Louisville, KY in July to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a cult film...The Big Lebowski. Can‘t explain the attraction to a person who's never watched it before. It's an acquired taste I'm afraid to say. Still kayaking and love the opportunity to paddle on my time schedule now. Hope to visit some retirees in FL and friends in SC during '09. Have been entertaining the idea of going to China or Spain to teach English. Nice to keep options open for future flights of fancy...hey, nice alliteration for you English teachers out there. Martha Silver: We are looking forward to summer and being able to garden,(last summer we had an abundance of tomatoes, peppers etc, which we froze and are still eating!) sail and play golf. We have spent alot of time in the fall and winter taking long walks at the ocean. We also volunteer at our local firehouse and museum plus go to the gym almost every day so our days are busy! The first 2 weeks in May I am doing an art show in Bronxville at the Store-Room Gallery at Gillards and in fact one of the paintings will be the dolphin we found on the beach as well as pictures of Maine, the Bahamas and Africa. There is a reception on Thursday, May 7 at 7pm for anyone who may be around. Romi Jordan: reported in that their two-week family trip/cruise starting in London was just wonderful. It was exciting to visit Russia and other Balkan countries and terrific to have the whole family together. Mark and his wife, Laura, (the pilot and nurse) took a three-month leave of absence from their jobs and going to New Zealand! They left Alaska at the end of Nov. and returned in March '09. in Naples, Fl. for the winter and really enjoying lots of opera, ballet, theater, and bridge. I've been taking Italian for the past year and love it. I'm determined to speak another language! Then I hope to spend a month or so in Italy. My dad was born in Naples. The Greater Naples Branch of NYSUT, of which I'm president, is having a fundraiser this Friday to benefit the Education Foundation of Collier County, the county in which I live. Our teachers' organization will be able to donate about $1000 to them from our fundraiser for special projects teachers want to carry out in their classrooms. Fran Freyer: Last Spring our oldest son‘s second daughter, the second of our grandchildren, Stephanie, graduated with honors from George Washington University. Last Nov., we had a difficult period when Fred was taken with an oral cancer (mouth) requiring extensive surgery and a two-week hospital stay followed by a short th period of recuperation at home. Our youngest son, Christopher, was married on January 18 . I began seeing double, interesting/scary as it was, especially when watching a play, it seemed best to find the help of a neuro- ophthalmologist. Now my prism glasses have me seeing perfectly and they look just like normal ones. Another miracle--when I thought I might need surgery! Now, we are pursuing continuing good health and looking forward to a cruise in June. Starting in Venice, we visit cities along the Mediterranean Coast (Dubrovnik, Corfu, Santorini, Sicily, Rome, Livorno, etc.) and ending up with two days in Barcelona. Life is good.‖ PBS show Doctors‘ Diaries (a repeat, I think) about what had happened to graduates of Harvard Med. School over 20 years. One person was Tom Tarter, a graduate of Bville. You might still be able to check it out if you knew him on the PBS website, link to NOVA. Tony Manganiello (later memo): We are frequently discovering the Finger Lakes while we visit our daughter at Ithaca College. It seems that we discover a new place every time we go there! Ithaca is "gorges" as they say, particularly when the weather is nice. I am finishing my spring semester at Concordia College where I have been teaching two Spanish courses. I have also been painting some rooms in my house. This time I have done a better job because I did have THE TIME! The "papotage" (an informal chat) at the Alliance Francaise is going well. My co-director and I are enjoying this "chat" in French and the enormous motivation, enthusiasm and background the 20-member audience have! And as a member of the board of directors I help plan many cultural fun activities.I am getting the Seniors at Christ Church interested in signing up for any of three courses: "papotage", cooking and Moliere and LaFontaine(advanced course). I also sing in the Choir of the Immaculate Conception Church in Eastchester. Many of the hymns are in Latin! Tony also wondered if we couldn‘t have a retiree gathering sometime in the future. He‟d offered to do the COOKING!!!! One of our active staff, HS psychologist, Joyce Vastola, just finished her 35th full marathon (in the last 14 years). She finished 143rd in her division at the Boston Marathon. She didn‘t START running until she was 41!!! WOW!!! I sent this newsletter by email to those of us for whom I have an eaddress. If you do have one, please email me so I can save us the money for stamps, paper, ink, etc. (firstname.lastname@example.org). I promise not to use it for ―junk mail‖ or give it out without asking you first. I am telling those who receive it by email that if they do not like receiving it that way, I will return to snail mail. Please consider sharing your email address with me----ALONG WITH SOME NEWS!!. Janice and I will not be able to make the Retirement dinner this year. I hope many of you do and set a new record for returning retirees. Half-price tickets are still a great deal for an enjoyable dinner and chance to celebrate with colleagues who are joining us in retirement!!!! Wanda Flickinger wrote just as I was to send you this newsletter. It concerns someone for whom many of us had great respect and so I decided to add her letter to me in full so we all get a sense of what she and others of our colleagues are doing: April 29, 2009 Dear Joe and Janice, It was a remarkable experience to see a monetary gift in honor of Erna Christensen prompt the development of a Special Gifts policy for The Bronxville School Foundation and then to find a meaningful use so that the funds would benefit the children of the Bronxville Elementary School. I needed to write this summary and in writing it, thought you might be able to use some of its information to tell B‘ville Retirees about the Memorial. April 14, 2009 marked a special day for the Elementary School children, their teachers and four elated retired Elementary School teachers. In a Lecture Series Program which was more than the usual fare, Natalie Kinsey- Warnock, author and artist, talked and shared with the Elementary School children her books, quilts, life and family history, urging the children that they, too, had many stories to tell. Less than a week later, we found Maryellen Mullen using several copies of a small book she had made from pictures taken at the program; sending them home with her kindergarten children to share the experience with family and then write their own stories. Dianne Aronson‘s first graders were eagerly interviewing and writing about their own families and experiences. And four of us, Doris Knopf, Gail Moulton, Ruby Lupton and I were delighted and relieved that after years of meeting, pondering and searching, the Erna Christensen Memorial Fund had become a reality. The year that Erna Christensen died (1994), we Retired Four met to select educational items from Erna‘s files for the School Archives. Susan Porcaro, Erna‘s niece had donated the files. At about the same time, a good friend of Erna‘s who desired to remain anonymous, asked me if I would administer a monetary gift which she wanted to give the School in memory of Erna. Working with the School and The Bronxville School Foundation throughout 1994, 1995 and into 1996, the Foundation finally developed a ―Designated Gifts Policy Statement‖ and we were able to give the Foundation $10,000 to establish The Erna Christensen Memorial Fund. Throughout the ensuing years, we had extensive meetings and discussions among ourselves as to how the money should be used. We wanted the use to be ongoing, much as the Thomas Hodgson award, yet we did not want it to single out any one person over another. We wished to project Erna‘s love of the Arts, her concern for the Literacy Program in White Plains, her teaching at Sara Lawrence, her mastery of teaching in Bronxville and her standard of ethical values in whatever way the money was used. Various possibilities seemed attractive and we pursued several. But eventually we realized that our hopes were much more grand than our financial resources and our years of absence from the daily life of the School limited our sense of what could be meaningful. Over time, the principal increased to a little over $14,000, but by comparison, gifts to The Foundation had become popular and large donations for School projects and teaching equipment dwarfed our little nest egg. Finally, with helpful advice and assistance from Denise Lutter, as Staff Development Coordinator and liaison to The Foundation, we developed a proposal for an experience related to the Arts but apart and different from the regular Lecture Series programs. Maryellen Mullen-Yonkers confirmed our hopes that Dianne Aronson and Kendall Fousek are the ideal choice to find outstanding opportunities in the Arts and are sensitive to child- centered educational activities. Our proposal was accepted by the Foundation and Elementary School Administration in June, 2008 and the first (and highly successful) program took place on April 14, 2009. It appears that we have made a worthy choice of something which will be of value to the Elementary School children. The Fund will not last forever because a percentage of the principal may be used if the yield is not great enough to sustain a desired experience. However, as long as it exists, it will be a living entity, an enrichment for the children. That is a vital part of Erna‘s legacy.